Michel Winterberg

Melting – the show must go on!

You can see the work »Melting - the show must go on!«. You can see a camera pointed at a white surface. At this point, the surface appears to be melting. In the background there are green illuminated electronics
Michel Winterberg
Melting – the show must go on!
Medium / Material / Technic
Projection, webcam, electrical equipment with fog, ice, and light, computer, loudspeakers

»Melting – the show must go on!« is a miniature model of – and a tool for reflecting on – a recently diagnosed global problem complex. The worldwide use of computers and huge server farms generates heat loads resembling those of the old industrial plants, exacerbating climate change and glacial melt.

In his two-part work, Michel Winterberg uses computer cooling equipment to generate ice on a metal plate. A webcam records the ice as it forms. The gradual process imitating nature is shown as a large-scale projection. It is a spectacular sight: After a while, the growth stops abruptly and all the ice melts away.

The aesthetic contrast between the technical installation, whose electromagnetic noise emissions the artist has transformed into an jarring composition of aggressively mechanical sound, and the fragile layer of ice crystals hints at a dynamic of perpetrator and victim. This installation illustrates how slow natural processes and rapid economies of consumption are in conflict with each other.

The second part of its title, »The show must go on!«, is not only a reference to the insistent power of consumerist behavior. It is also an expression of skepticism regarding the artwork itself: Is the criticism formulated by the piece ultimately geared towards an indulgence which itself is inappropriate in light of the current realities?